CANS History

After the ANA restructured and disbanded the Council of Nurse Research, the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Board members in the late 1990s recognized the need to create a national nursing research network. Thus, the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS), an open membership entity of the AAN, was established in 2000 to foster "Better Health Through Nursing Science." The goals of CANS are to be a voice for nursing science at national and international levels by developing and utilizing nursing science, to disseminate research findings across individuals and groups in scientific and lay communities, and to facilitate life-long learning opportunities for nurse scientists.

Conceived as a partnership with existing research groups or groups providing substantive researcher support, a consortium-type steering committee was convened to guide the Council. The founding steering committee from 2000-2002, chaired by Dr. Bill Holzemer (University of California-San Francisco), included representation from the four regional nursing research societies (Eastern, Midwest and Southern Nursing Research Societies and Western Institute of Nursing); the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; American Nurses Foundation (ANF); Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI); and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) (ex-officio). The steering committee continues with representation from the four regional nursing research societies, STTI, ANF and NINR (ex-officio).

Prior to and coincidental with the formation of CANS, national biennial State of the Science Congresses in Nursing Research were held, originally through university sponsorships but ultimately with the support of the National Nursing Research Roundtable and through a consortium of nursing organizations with rotating leadership. For 2002, the meeting was chaired by American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and STTI. In order to ensure and build consistency and planning by active nursing scientists, and to further its mission, CANS received support to spearhead and sustain ongoing State of the Science Nursing Research Congresses, starting with the 2004 meeting. The State of the Science meeting along with Special Research Topics Conferences on the alternate (odd number) years forms the main Council agenda platform, along with funding a seed money grant through the American Nurses Foundation, participating in the National Nursing Research Roundtable, and analyzing and speaking out on research development and policy issues on behalf of and in concert with the AAN.

The CANS, ANA, ANF and AAN leadership are grateful to the organizations that helped initiate and sustain the State of the Science Congress and acknowledge them as founding partners. These include the Agency for Health care Research and Quality; American Association of Colleges of Nursing; American Association of Critical Care Nurses; American Nephrology Nurses Association; American Organization of Nurse Executives; American Psychiatric Nurses Association; Association of Academic Health Centers; Association of Rehabilitation Nursing; Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing; Eastern Nursing Research Society; Emergency Nurses Association; Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research; Midwest Nursing Research Society; National Council for State Boards of Nursing; National Institute of Nursing Research; National League for Nursing; Oncology Nursing Society; Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation; Sigma Theta Tau International; Southern Nursing Research Society; and Western Institute of Nursing.

In 2014, the Steering Committee changed its name to the Leadership Council.

As part of a larger, coordinated effort to further align CANS and the Academy, in 2020, the Leadership Council became recognized as the CANS National Advisory Council.

We welcome all nursing or health care researchers or organizations committed to furthering health care research to participate as members of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science!